AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) Executive Grilled Over Email Calling Content Providers ‘Shortsighted Whores’

0
495

On Thursday, a top executive at AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) was grilled about past emails which criticized content providers who were selling programming to online vendors after the government contested AT&T Inc to take over Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX).

The antitrust suit, which is currently in its third week, seeks to stop the proposed purchase of Time Warner at a cost of $85.4-billion. The suit, the US Department of Justice is seeking to prove to the federal judge that after the acquisition, AT&T will start withholding Warner Bros, TBS, CNN, HBO, plus other programming offered by HBO, from online competitors.

According to the Department of Justice, such a move will be accomplished in partnership with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), which will switch off its own NBCUniversal content in a move to scuttle efforts by Sling TV plus other online competitors to attract traditional pay-TV customers.

AT&T Entertainment Group chief content officer Daniel York testified about emails which he sent while at the company and when he served as an executive at DirecTV. DirecTV was acquired by AT&T in 2015.

In one of the emails sent in 2015 to DirecTV chief executive York said “content providers generally are shortsighted whores” to anyone who is willing to write them a check for their programming.  The email was sent in response to deals which content provides signed with Sling TV, which is owned by Dish Network. Sling TV is an online service, which does not require a satellite dish.

A year after the deal, York complained about a deal that Turner Broadcasting had signed with Apple TV to enable viewers watch NCAA basketball tournament games on a shared and split screen. York noted that AT&T had on several occasions tried to get secure the permission to start offering such innovative services. The efforts were however unsuccessful.

Lawyers representing the Department of Justice are seeking to show Judge Richard Leon that AT&T intends to use Time Warner’s must-have content as a weapon against its competitors including Google Inc.’s YouTube TV, Sling TV as well as other online rivals. On the other hand, lawyers representing AT&T have argued that in the event that AT&T takes over Time Warner, it will like to sell the content to as many people as possible.

This report is for information purposes only, and is neither a solicitation or recommendation to buy nor an offer to sell securities. Financials Trend is not-a-registered-investment-advisor. Financials Trend is not a broker-dealer. Information, opinions and analysis contained herein are based on sources believed to be reliable, but no representation, expressed or implied, is made as to its accuracy, completeness or correctness. The opinions contained herein reflect our current judgment and are subject to change without notice. Financials Trend accepts no liability for any losses arising from an investor's reliance on the use of this material. Financials Trend sometimes gets compensated up to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars per month for featuring particular stocks. See site disclaimer for complete compensation. Financials Trend and its affiliates or officers currently hold no shares of these stocks. Financials Trend and its affiliates or officers will purchase and sell shares of common stock of these stocks, in the open market at any time without notice. Financials Trend will not update its purchases and sales of these stocks in any future postings on Financials Trend's websites. Certain information included herein is forward-looking within the context of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements concerning manufacturing, marketing, growth, and expansion. The words "may", "would," "will," "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," " project," and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify for ward-looking statements. Such forward- looking information involves important risks and uncertainties that could affect actual results and cause them to differ materially from expectations expressed herein. *Financials Trend does not set price targets on securities. Never invest into a stock discussed on this web site or in this email alert unless you can afford to lose your entire investment.